Keep pets safe from fire
An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, however, nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) and ADT Security Services have joined forces once again for the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day today, July 15, to spread awareness about how pets can start home fires but more importantly how to prevent them.
“Not many pet owners realize that their pet can actually be the cause of a devastating fire,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Simple preventative measures, such as flameless candles and stove knob covers, can mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends.”
You can prevent your pet from starting fires by following these safety tips:
• Extinguish open flames. Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
• Remove stove knobs. Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
• Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
• Beware of water bowls on wooden decks. Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
• Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
• Secure young pets. Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
• Since pets left alone can’t escape a burning home, consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
For more safety tips on how to keep your pets out of harm’s way in the event of a fire, visit the National Volunteer Fire Council’s website at http://www.nvfc.org.
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